Searching for smart, safe news you can TRUST?

Support safe, smart, REAL journalism. Sign up for our Axios AM & PM newsletters and get smarter, faster.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Searching for smart, safe news you can TRUST?

Support safe, smart, REAL journalism. Sign up for our Axios AM & PM newsletters and get smarter, faster.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Denver news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Des Moines news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Minneapolis-St. Paul news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Minneapolis-St. Paul

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tampa-St. Petersburg news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa-St. Petersburg

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Elon Musk, Chairman, CEO and Product Architect of Tesla Motors. Photo: VCG/VCG via Getty Images

On Friday night Elon Musk abandoned his plan take Tesla private, but the CEO and the Silicon Valley electric automaker will be dealing with aftershocks for a while.

Quick take: Axios' Steve LeVine explains that one nagging question is whether Musk was ever really serious, or whether he was impulsively trolling the shorts but then had to put on this theater because of the fallout.

Why you'll be hearing about this again: Some takeaways, questions and things to watch now that the plan is dead after a head-spinning two weeks...

1. What's next for Musk: Tesla's board, in a statement last night, said that "we fully support Elon as he continues to lead the company moving forward."

But the take-private plan's brief life revealed — via this viral New York Times piece where Musk discussed his exhaustion and 120-hour weeks — that board members are concerned about his workload and use of Ambien.

The NYT and Bloomberg later reported that they're looking for high-level talent to help Musk. Whether they can successfully add senior personnel that he trusts and will delegate to is looking increasingly critical.

2. The abrupt end to the plan won't halt concerns about Musk's judgement.

Musk pulled the plug in a Friday night statement which explained that shareholder and investor feedback revealed hurdles and resistance. But presumably much of the difficulty in pulling off the transaction could have been determined before his surprising, maverick announcement of the plan via Twitter on August 7.

  • As several analysts have noted, one pillar of the plan's rationale — getting out of the quarterly earnings pressure-cooker — never made much sense, because markets and investors have actually been very patient with the still-unprofitable company.

The plan sucked up lots of oxygen during a vital stretch for the company as it seeks to sustainably boost production of the Model 3 sedan.

3. The company now has to deal with SEC inquiries into the affair.

According to multiple reports, the SEC is investigating the proposal in light of Musk's now-infamous August 7 tweet that he had "funding secured" for taking Tesla private at $420 per share.

The tweet immediately sent the stock market sharply upward (it has since tumbled).

But the claim was not accurate, and could leave Musk open to allegations of manipulating the stock. Musk later said it was based on discussions that showed strong interest from Saudi Arabia's sovereign wealth fund in bankrolling the transaction.

Go deeper: USA vs. Elon Musk

Go deeper

Updated 7 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: The good and bad news about antibody therapies — Fauci: Hotspots have materialized across "the entire country."
  2. World: Belgium imposes lockdown, citing "health emergency" due to influx of cases.
  3. Economy: Conference Board predicts economy won’t fully recover until late 2021.
  4. Education: Surge threatens to shut classrooms down again.
  5. Technology: The pandemic isn't slowing tech.
  6. Travel: CDC replaces COVID-19 cruise ban with less restrictive "conditional sailing order."
  7. Sports: High school football's pandemic struggles.
  8. 🎧Podcast: The vaccine race turns toward nationalism.
Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
Updated 8 hours ago - Economy & Business

Dunkin' Brands agrees to $11B Inspire Brands sale

Photo: Alexi Rosenfeld/Getty Images

Dunkin' Brands, operator of both Dunkin' Donuts and Baskin-Robbins, agreed on Friday to be taken private for nearly $11.3 billion, including debt, by Inspire Brands, a restaurant platform sponsored by private equity firm Roark Capital.

Why it matters: Buying Dunkin’ will more than double Inspire’s footprint, making it one of the biggest restaurant deals in the past 10 years. This could ultimately set up an IPO for Inspire, which already owns Arby's, Jimmy John's and Buffalo Wild Wings.

Ina Fried, author of Login
10 hours ago - Technology

Federal judge halts Trump administration limit on TikTok

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

A federal judge on Friday issued an injunction preventing the Trump administration from imposing limits on the distribution of TikTok, Bloomberg reports. The injunction request came as part of a suit brought by creators who make a living on the video service.

Why it matters: The administration has been seeking to force a sale of, or block, the Chinese-owned service. It also moved to ban the service from operating in the U.S. as of Nov. 12, a move which was put on hold by Friday's injunction.